How our Logos for Schools program helped a student find her passion

19 May 2021

Participating in the Logos for Schools program when she was in Year 10 gave Caitlin Furber a head start at university and set her on a path to study Philosophy.

In 2016, Caitlin was one of a group of students from her high school nominated for the Logos for Schools program by their teacher, who encouraged them to take the opportunity to learn more about critical thinking and get a feel for university studies.

The program teaches students units in Philosophy and Ethics, with the aim of developing their critical analysis and reasoning skills, as well as presenting some of the most interesting and challenging questions of human life for discussion.

“It was such a fantastic experience, I really enjoyed thinking more deeply about the world,” says Caitlin of doing the program. “In high school, you don’t really get to ask those big questions like: Why are we here? What’s reality? I know these are intense questions for a teenager to be asking but they are really important questions.”

Caitlin enjoyed Logos 1 in Philosophy so much that when she was in Year 12, she decided to sign up for the Ethics course (Logos 2). “I love ethics and thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong, and how to see that in the world around us. It's definitely my passion,” says Caitlin. “The program also helped me write better essays in my final year of school,” she adds.

“The essays I wrote as part of the course were marked at a university level and I got great feedback from the teachers, which made me think about how I could improve my writing. I translated this to my high school work so I could achieve my goals and aim high for my ATAR. More personally, it also helped me figure out what I believe, which I think a lot of young people struggle with these days.”

At the end of high school when everyone started thinking about the future, Caitlin wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do, but thanks to the Logos for Schools program she knew she enjoyed Philosophy. “Initially I was going to study Social Justice at Notre Dame because that interested me but I just kept coming back to Philosophy,” says Caitlin, who is now in her third year of a Bachelor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame Australia.

“Logos for Schools gave me that taste of university life but also the unique culture at Notre Dame, where you have a close relationship with your lecturers. That was one of the things from doing the program that drew me to Notre Dame; I wanted that bond with my teachers,” explains Caitlin. “Notre Dame’s academics are really open to explaining difficult concepts and very kind in how they approach questions because they want you to engage with the content and feel comfortable asking questions.”

Caitlin applied to Notre Dame through the Early Offer program and was successful in receiving a place before graduating high school. She was also awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship, which was all the encouragement she needed.

“I’ve loved studying in such a great university environment,” says Caitlin. “I’m minoring in History, which really complements Philosophy nicely because you get this historical background on all the ideas philosophers talk about. It's not always easy but it’s something that I'm super passionate about.”

Not only does Logos for Schools offer high school students an insight into the discipline of Philosophy and university life, it gives them a chance to meet new people, sharpen their skills in debate and improve their academic writing. High school students who complete the program are also eligible to apply for advanced standing if they enrol in an undergraduate degree at Notre Dame down the track – putting them ahead in their studies.

“I applied for advanced standing and I know I've loved having that extra time to either do another class or take a lighter load one semester… Even if I didn’t come to Notre Dame in the end, Logos for Schools would have been worth it; it was so formative and made me think. If you're contemplating the Logos for Schools program, my advice is to do it! It’s a few hours out of your week but you won’t lose anything by doing it – you will learn a lot and it will stay with you for years to come.”

To learn more about the Logos for Schools Program, click here.


Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 | breyon.gibbs@nd.edu.au